, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 201-208

The history of autism

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Abstract.

Autism remains a fascinating condition, perhaps the most prolifically researched of all child psychiatric disorders. Its history yields many lessons: early accounts of possible autism are, with one exception, unclear; the greatest contributions to our understanding have come from individual clinicians and researchers; the concept and definition of the disorder have changed greatly over the years; some ideas once held with conviction, were later proved to be unfounded; and socio-political shifts as well as research findings have radically altered our understanding of the syndrome as well as the care and treatment offered to people with autism.